The Taste of Victory

Missives From the Jet Set.

Everyone’s a Critic

How many hotties can you squeeze into Red Lantern? A lot, judging by Dinnerfest, the fundraiser for Victory Programs, which billed itself as the “foodie event to feel good about.”

Spotted among the throng at the dinner and auction: the smoldering Sergio Mazon, acerbic organist Sammy Levitt, modish blonde Laura Baldini, culture vultures Kyle and Greg Hemingway Dickinson, the delectable Richard Gordon, the toothsome twosome of David Brown and Ben Perkins, amateur underwear model Scott Galinsky, the snacky Mike Gettings, Mr. Bedside Manner John Coombs, stylist to the stars Sal Malafronte and banking bigshot Darin Contini, the Hat Sisters, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and sister from another mister Verna Turbulence, as well as one woman who had recently received a shipment of sex toys from a friend and wanted to donate them to charity.

The award for cattiest remark went to the person who said, “Just because she fits into that bustier doesn’t make her a good bartender.”



Anyone who said, “Looks like a million bucks,” at the Spotlight Spectacular would’ve been right for several reasons, one of them being that’s what the evening raised for the Huntington Theatre Company.

Held at the Park Plaza Castle, the event honored author/investor/bon vivant (and Improper columnist) John Spooner, and they pulled out all the stops on everything from the food to the entertainment, to the point that there was a standing ovation before the salad was even served.

Present and accounted for: the Spooner brood, including Nick, Amanda and Scott, finely tuned tastemaker Susan Kaplan, uber-impresario Mary Zimmerman, erudite opinion maker Adrian Walker, love bugs Samantha Strauss and Jonathan Hanman, arts patron Teddy Cutler, Cottage Farmers Lloyd and Diane Gordon, the soignée Joyce Linde, Hitchcock blonde Nancy Korman, the unsinkable Mary Johnson, white-hot actresses Lauren Molina and McCaela Donovan, the absurdly charismatic Peter DuBois, the always dapper Ron Druker, party pair Donald Nelson and Neal Balkowitsch, the bejeweled Debbie Lewis with her affable other half, Bob Grinberg, Chestnut Hillions Cokie and Lee Perry, design hotshot Stephen Martyak and one woman wearing a vintage Cartier brooch that nearly resulted in puncture wounds every time she kissed someone hello.

Before dinner, the incomparable Kevin Carolan performed, and things only got better from there.

“It’s only Monday night. I’m going to need the rest of the week to recover,” said one guest. However, major props go to the guy whose blowout birthday bash was the night before, but still showed up looking dapper as all get-out… prompting a friend to remark, “Preparation H under the eyes hides a multitude of sins.”


In Vino Emptio

A sure sign of a good party: There’s a massage therapist giving free rubdowns right beyond the coat check.

That was just the first of many delights at the Company One Gala, held at the Artists for Humanity EpiCenter. The evening, which honored Emerson theater impresario Rob Orchard, attracted the likes of much-loved minister Liz Walker, on hand to see her son Nik perform, Haitian hipster Ferguson Herivaux, statuesque beauty Victoria Marsh, Sicilian smoke show Joe Todaro, New York club sensation Nikki Exotika, the dangerously gorgeous design twosome of Amber Lu and Candice Wu, the fleet-footed Khalid Hill, Krump King Russell Ferguson, legal eagle Matthew Kozol and more stylistas than you can shake a stick at, including the woman who said, “I have Swarovski eyelashes, and I’m vajazzled.”

The eclectic crew made for some highly entertaining interactions, the performances were well worth the price of admission, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a more attractive crowd.

The evening’s only downside: The bartenders stopped pouring drinks during the speaking portion of the evening, prompting one guest to complain, “If you expect me to bid in the auction, you have to at least get me buzzed.”

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